Problems with Playing the UK

So, I understand that the game is supposed to be hard, but I’ve had way too many problems playing the UK.

Every single game, quite literally, I get a constant series of credit rating downgrades that I couldn’t reasonably prevent or do anything about. This always leads to a debt crisis before the halfway point of my first term. I’ve completely given up on playing as the UK.

This is a screenshot of my recent game, one turn I had a 5bn pound surplus, and the next turn I get a credit rating downgrade for dropping to a 1bn pound deficit. Next turn, debt crisis. This is not unusual, I’ve eliminated the deficit in at least 4 games, each time it drops back to a deficit for any reason I get an instant credit rating downgrade before I have an opportunity to respond.

This is most egregious on left wing play throughs, and basically makes any hope of getting to simulate policy positions I actually agree with completely impossible. Meanwhile, even if I play a center-right/libertarian playthrough trying to balance the budget and get debt under control, I run into the same problems.

Another problem I’ve had is the Corporate Exodus problem. Doesn’t matter what I do, but every time I play the UK if I make even a little move toward stronger labor rights I get a Corporate Exodus. Also, there is either a bug with the impact on the problem, or a severe case of complete insanity. This is the latest, and most egregious example, where corporate taxes were only 19%, but it was listed as the largest cause of the corporate exodus. It’s just absurd.

Labor Laws are only slightly moved towards pro-union.

Work Safety is also unchanged.

This turns the entire game, every single time, into cutting services and raising taxes. I’ve joked that the game turns into Austerity Simulator, because that’s what it feels like.

At this point I’ve completely given up on playing the UK. Meanwhile I can play Germany while barely needing to bother with elections. The difficulty of different nations are really wild, I can never lose at Germany, the US is a good and fun challenge, and the UK is unplayable.

I don’t know if I’m just terrible at the game, I’m admittedly pretty new to it, but I can’t figure out anything I can do to solve the problem. The thing is, it’s only playing as the UK, I don’t have nearly as much trouble as the US.


Hi. I definitely agree that the UK is the hardest country right now. FWIW, if you want to try the UK without the imminent debt nightmare, then start a new game and just move the ‘economic cycle’ slider. By default the UK starts just at the start of a recession :smiley:

in terms of how to deal with it…yes you start with a very bad financial situation, but you can win with it, and you can avoid a corporate exodus. The companies will leave if you tax them heavily, but you can either balance high corp taxes with incentives for corps to stay (high tech investment & education, or low wages & poor worker rights), or swap from corp taxes to consumer taxes, or sin taxes (alcohol, tobacco etc).

Basically in a recession, you have to be cautious about over taxing corps if you also have a nervous bond market (high debt/GDP). If you can make it through one term, get the budget back in surplus, or get GDP nice and high, you can them ramp up taxes on corps and the rich without them leaving (becuase all things considered, the bonuses outweight the negatives).

A lot of players complain that the game is way too easy, so its a nice change to hear its too hard :smiley:

1 Like

My biggest complaint about the corporate exodus was that it was completely unrealistic.

With a 19% corporate tax rate and very favorable labor laws, it just doesn’t make any sense.

That and corporate exodus, as a mass event, is incredibly rare. It almost exclusively happens in economies under complete collapse or failed states. (Side note: the slow relocation that has been happening in developed economies isn’t what I’m talking about, that is mostly driven by macroeconomic forces, not tax rates)

1 Like

Also another slight problem to note, when I got events such as the water shortage and rare earth crisis, it took me forever to figure out what the “year” effect was. I think it is your way of attempting to simulate the effects of climate change over time, but I feel that its not that clear. If I’m right as to your intent on those, then I’d suggest changing the name to “Climate Change” or something, just to make it a bit more accessible and understandable.

Yup, thats a general variable that I need to adjust (its on my list) to make it less dramatic, but its true that I need to make that clearer. Its a bit ambiguous because in the short term, we left measures against climate change affect average temperature.

I would argue that a fairly silent, but noticeable corporate exodus has happened slowly to a bunch of countries, especially higher taxed ones in Europe, where the relevant companies have moved their headquarters to ireland, which has a notoriously low corporate tax rate compared to France, Germany etc. The corporate exodus does not have to be as dramatic as venezuela to be a problem.

Also the headline corp tax law is only one consideration. A country that has nominally low corp tax, but a sky high minimum wage, and high capital gains & wealth taxes on the CEOs is likely to suffer from the relocation of those companies too.